Kenny G

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A Kenny G in its natural habitat.

Kenneth Bruce Gorelick (born June 5, 1956), known professionally as Kenny G, is an American saxophonist most famously known as the saxiest man to walk the planet. The biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era, he has spent over three decades entertaining housewives everywhere with his salacious jazz licks. He is the hero of all saxophone players, and made the soprano saxophone as famous as the man who invented the backspace key on the keyboard.

Known for his musical virtuosity, signature frizzy hair, and great sandwiches, the G-Man's influence extends well beyond jazz and into the realms of avant garde, folktronica, musique concrete, New Age, and vaporwave. Indeed, without him, all the world's elevators and supermarkets would cease functioning and revert to mere anarchy.

Early life[edit]

Gorelick was born in Seattle, Washington in 1956. He was named after St. Kenaldo of Genoa, a 13th century Kabbalist who converted to Roman Catholicism; Gorelick's many Christmas albums are a tribute to this poorly-known saint. As with most jazzers, it was the experience of being abused as a child which drove him to take up the saxophone at the age of 10. He spent his childhood and teen years playing soft melodies on his sax in downtown Seattle clubs.

The saxist residents of Seattle could not stand hearing the stick-like saxophone twenty-three and a half hours a day (Gorelick spent the other thirty minutes emptying the spit in his saxophone off top of the Space Needle), so a luxurious prison asked Kenny to play his sax to soothe the prison riots. Violence was reduced by 83% in the prison when he began his profession, but intimacy increased by 234%. The prison guards had to fire him after creating the love-bug in the prison, but his work for the prison was later featured in a Super Bowl XLV commercial.


1973–81: Career beginnings[edit]

In 1973, Kenny G had his first professional gig with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, playing sixth baritone and making the tea and sandwiches. It was while playing with White's band that Kenny got his big break; he was criticized at first for his innovative approach and for having the devil's curly hair, but was soon accepted as one of the most important jazz musicians of all-time, along with Charles Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and of course Chris Botti.

Kenny G was later discovered by artists such as Cold, Bold and Together and The Jeff Lorber Fusion, who begged him to join their bands.

1982–99: Solo success[edit]

In 1982, Kenny G made his debut as a solo artist. This era saw him experimenting with longer solos with more space for nipping off to the bar. He became noted for his astounding range of a little bit less than one octave and ability to play more notes by growing more fingers and moving these fingers faster; this was dubbed by jazz critic Ira Gitler to be "the shits of sound."

The breakthrough came when Kenny G realized the potentially lucrative market among white middle-class Americans for his distinctive brand of avant-garde jazz. Elements of his music at this point included exciting solos on as many as two chords and a freeing of musical structures to include "improvisation" as it became known.

If samples of Kenny G's overdubbed 1999 cover of "What a Wonderful World" are played near Louis Armstrong's gravesite in New York City's Flushing Cemetery, a perfectly-pitched standard-"A" whine may be heard as Armstrong's remains spin at precisely 440 revolutions per second.

2000–present: Recent exploits[edit]

In 2011, after releasing a hit YouTube video, Sergio Flores (better known as Sexy Sax Man) challenged Kenny G to the ultimate saxophone duel. That competition was held to determine who had the sexiest rendition of George Michael's "Careless Whisper" on a saxophone. However, the duel was interrupted by Bill Clinton, who came at a very inopportune moment; this was frowned upon by Congressmen and politicians, so Clinton was impeached. Kenny G and Sexy Sax Man went on tour without Bill Clinton after the duel ended in a tie.

Also in 2011, Kenny G made an appearance in the music video for Katy Perry's single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", where he is the life of the party and plays his sax like a boss.

Musicianship and style[edit]

Kenny G, known widely for his side-of-the-mouth playing, performs this way because of his love for eye contact with the audience as he plays.

Kenny G famously set a world record with his circular-breathing technique by holding an "E" on his saxophone for over forty-five minutes. However, this was not an intentional, staged record attempt; rather, he was just taking a solo during a concert and his brain suddenly stopped working. Nevertheless, one concertgoer — 65-year-old Barbara Schwarz, a retired accountant from Vermont — claimed the solo "cooked". Undeterred, Kenny G underwent a brain transplant in which his old brain was replaced with a motor from an old washer-dryer; most fans noticed no change in the caliber of his performances after the transplant.

Kenny G's albums are Schedule III controlled substances in the United States and may not be possessed without a doctor's prescription, as they may will cause marked drowsiness. They are 83% less effective than Barry White albums for purposes of bow-chicka-wow-wow. Said albums are available over the counter at your local pharmacy.


Kenny G has been noted for having perfect curly hair. In fact, a curl of his hair once sold for $451,000 on eBay which is noted as the second highest selling hair follicle in history (behind Britney Spears after shaving her head). His hair was also voted #1 on People magazine's "World's Sexiest '80s-Style Brown Hair That Crosses Shoulder Length by a Man". This trademark hair has also helped him attract many ladies, including Yoko Ono. The two were featured in a South Park episode and led the World Wide Recorder Concert in New York; however, due to a last-minute edit in the music, the entire population at the concert crapped their pants due to the brown note.

See also[edit]